CCTV Camera Clusters / Trees

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 01, 2012

Are they a symbol of Big Brother, a good design practice or something in between? Here's a real world example of clustering multiple surveillance cameras on a single pole:

camera tree

They look a little like leaves on a CCTV tree. While this does happen, it is uncommon.

Benefits of CCTV Camera Clusters

We see a few benefits of this approach:

  • Lower installation cost: Instead of running cabling to 4 different locations, just a single run is required.
  • Dedicated coverage: Instead of a PTZ that only looks at one spot at a time, you get dedicated coverage of a 360 area.
  • Deterrent effect: It is hard for people to miss 4 cameras on a pole.

Drawbacks of CCTV Camera Clusters

However, there are also drawbacks:

  • Worse Angles: Because the cameras are all mounted on a single spot, the angles of incidents to people and cars may be worse than putting them at different locations aimed directly at key traffic flows.
  • Expensive product cost: 4 cameras with 4 outdoor housings, VMS licenses, etc. is costly. Perhaps a panoramic would be better in such a location, it certainly would be much less expensive.
  • Aesthetic problems: It is so overt that it could make people uncomfortable or unsafe.

What Do You Think?

I am genuinely curious to hear from those who are using these in real deployments. Any feedback?

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